Patrick Schwerdtfeger is a motivational speaker who can speak about psychological momentum and self-fulfilling prophecies at your next business event. Contact us to check availability. The full transcript of the above video is included below.
Full Video Transcript:
Hi, and welcome to another edition of Strategic Business Insights. Today we’re going to talk about psychological momentum. Psychological momentum – and it can be positive or negative.
So here’s the thing: There are upward spirals and there are downward spirals. If your mindset … if you’re thinking positive, for whatever reason, you have a larger probability of seeing more positive things throughout the day. Like, for example, if you wake up in the morning and for whatever reason you just wake up chipper, you’re happy – you have a positive mindset. There are countless things that happen in a given day, but your mind, because you’re already in a positive mindset, you’re going to notice the good things more than you’re going to notice the bad things, or at least swayed slightly more in that direction, which is going to create the illusion that it’s even a better day than it actually is relative to any other day.
Same thing happened on the other side of the fence. You can wake up on the wrong side of the bed as they say, bad mindset, for whatever reason you’re in a bad mood, maybe you didn’t sleep well or you had a bad dream, whatever it is, and now you’ve got this negative mindset in your mind, which means that you’re going to go through the rest of your day and you’re going to notice all the negative things more than the positive things, which is going to reaffirm your belief that it’s a bad day.
If you actually look at the two situations empirically, the only difference was that first mindset of when you first woke up. After that, let’s say the days were identical, your perception when you woke up with a bad mindset will be, more than likely, most likely—it’s not guaranteed, but most likely—it’s going to be that the whole day was bad. All kinds of bad things happened. Meanwhile, if you woke up in a positive mindset, your belief is going to be that it was a good day and all kinds of good things happened, even if those two days were exactly identical.
People study this kind of stuff. Here’s the reality: Your subconscious mind can take in roughly 10 million observations in any given situation. Even now, you’re watching this video on a computer somewhere or on a mobile device, you’ve made all kinds of observations about your environment, how cold, how hot, a scent in the air, a piece of lint on the floor, whatever. You’ve made tons of observations, 10 million on average. Meanwhile, your conscious mind can only keep track of about 40 of those. So, in other words, 99.9996% of the observations you make, the observations that come in through your eyes or your nose, your ears, your touch, all those observations, you are not even consciously aware of 99% of them – 99.9996. You’re only consciously aware of a tiny fraction.
And I’ve told this story many times, but when I first moved to Los Angeles I bought a green Volkswagen Jetta. Then what happened? Predictably, I started Volkswagen Jettas all over the place. Those Jettas were there before. Nothing actually changed. The same number of Jettas was on the roads before versus after my purchase. But because I was focused or more aware, in other words, the observation of a Jetta moved from my subconscious mind into my conscious mind.
You can control these things. You can specifically train your brain to look for more positive things. And it’s not about pasting a smile on your face in some sort of disingenuous fake way that so many people do. They’re just cheerleaders even though deep down inside they’re miserable. But what I’m talking about is just training your brain to at least notice positive things. Gratitude, doing positive things, doing things that make you happy, doing things that make you feel passionate – all those things can invigorate your brain and make it have a positive slant, which is going to…
What’s the effect going to be? The effect is going to be that in any situation that you’re in, and in a day you could be in a dozen different situations or two or three dozen, depending on what it is you do, in all of those situations—there are 10 million observations in all of those—you’re going to notice more positive things. In other words, you can be in a downward spiral. If you’re having a bad day, I believe you. I believe you. I believe you’re having a bad day because your mind is focused on bad things. It’s going to reaffirm…it’s going to make it impossible, almost, to not have a bad day.
If your career is taking off, if you have that belief in your brain that your career’s going well, it’s going to go very well because you’re going to notice things that are going to accelerate the process. Meanwhile, if you think your business is in the toilet, things are difficult, things are hard, if you’re focused on that mindset, it’s going to come true. It’s going to come true. It’s going to continue to be hard because you’re going to notice things that reaffirm what’s already lodged in your brain.
Let’s go take it to marriage. If you’re married, is your marriage going well? If you have that in your brain, “My marriage is going well,” the probability is much higher that your marriage is going to go well because you’re going to focus on the good things. Or if you’re saying your marriage is bad—
Here’s the thing in relationships. Let’s say your wife—okay, let’s assume you’re a man. You could be a woman, but let’s say you’re man, so you have a wife. When you have positive images—or let’s take it the other way around. When your wife thinks of you positively, she’s going to notice all your good qualities and practically ignore—she might not even notice—your bad qualities. If she has a positive mindset about your relationship, she’s going to notice the good things and almost not even…it’s almost like they don’t even exist. But the opposite is also true. If things start going sour and you guys are arguing, you’re fighting, things are not going well, all of a sudden, what’s she going to notice? She’s going to notice all the bad things and she’s almost not even going to notice the good; they’re going to disappear for her.
And obviously, the reverse is true. So if you have good conceptions of your relationship with your wife, you’re going to notice the positive things. And literally, if those observations of her bad things go into your subconscious mind and never go into your conscious mind, you will not even consciously be aware of those negative things. It’s almost like it disappears entirely. Meanwhile, if you have a bad conception of your relationship, it’s going to come true.
Upward spirals and downward spirals – this is momentum in psychology. If you start with one bad thought, it’s a domino effect. Emotions are magnets. If you have a positive emotion, it’s going to attract other positive emotions. You’re going to notice positive things. It’s going to spiral up. Meanwhile, if you have a negative emotion, if you have a negative thought, it’s a magnet. It’s going to attract other negative thoughts. You’re going to notice negative things.
There’s nothing hokey about this. It’s science. It’s noticing the Jettas rather than some other type of car, like a Toyota Camry. I wasn’t noticing the Camrys because I didn’t have one. It wasn’t in my brain. It’s like they didn’t even exist. But because I was driving a Jetta that was in my brain, and as a result of that I noticed the Jettas.
We can train our brains. You have to stay real, but you can train it to be positive and focus on what you want to do. Focus on your dreams, some real ambitious goal or a future positive relationship that’s even better than the relationship that you’re in right now. Could be with the same person, but just at another level. Imagine that and think about it. When you think about it, you’re going to automatically start noticing other things that lead you to that destination.
This is the law of attraction with a scientific foundation. The law of attraction works because of the power of your unconscious mind. Your unconscious mind will notice things you will not even believe – 10 million observations in any given setting. There are tons of observations you’re not even noticing today. So if you train your brain to start thinking about those things, you’re going to notice all sorts of things that are going to make it come true.
So take responsibility for the thoughts that go into your mind. Take responsibility for your own mindset and know that if you start your day on a positive footing, if you start your day with your ambitions, your goals, your dreams, your aspirations, you’re going to have a better day and you’re going to have a much higher probability of achieving those goals over time.
Thanks for watching this video, guys. I do appreciate it. My name is Patrick, reminding you to think bigger about your business, think bigger about your life.
Patrick Schwerdtfeger is a keynote speaker who has spoken at business conferences in North America, South America, Europe, Africa, the Middle East and Asia.